Superteams are everywhere these days.
We already had them in Oakland and Cleveland. But now we have James Harden and Chris Paul joining forces in Houston; Gordon Hayward, Al Horford and Kyrie Irving teaming up in Boston; Carmelo Anthony, Paul George and Russell Westbrook getting together in Oklahoma City; Jimmy Butler joining a couple of No. 1 picks in Minnesota; and Paul Millsap forming a talented frontline with Nikola Jokic in Denver.
We also can't forget DeMarcus Cousins and Anthony Davis, who played just 17 games together last season, getting their first extended run in New Orleans. And eventually, we'll get Isaiah Thomas joining LeBron James and Kevin Love in Cleveland.
So, are all of these super teams going to be super? Probably not. Some of these pairs and trios will make each other better. Some won't.
It happens. It doesn't mean that the team will be terrible, just that it won't be as good when all the stars are on the floor than it is when one of them is on the bench, replaced by a more complementary player.
Rockets coach Mike D'Antoni knows a little bit about star combinations not living up to expectations. He had Anthony and Amar'e Stoudemire with the Knicks, as well as Steve Nash, Kobe Bryant, Pau Gasol and Dwight Howard with the Lakers. The latter group was hindered by injuries, but the New York pairing was clearly a bad fit. Even the year the Knicks won 54 games under Mike Woodson, the team was outscored when Anthony and Stoudemire were on the floor together.
"There's a lot of factors that go into it," D'Antoni said last week about the success or failure of star combinations, making it clear that he wasn't talking about anybody in particular. "Do their skills complement each other instead of overlap? Are they both ball-stoppers instead of ball-movers?
"Golden State has four All-Stars, but they all complement each other and they're all willing to give up a part of their game. They're all willing to adjust and just do whatever it takes to win on the floor. It's an easy thing to [talk about], but a lot of times it's a hard thing to do.
"But the biggest thing is that their games complement each other."
D'Antoni now has a new star combination in Houston, making his team look like the biggest threat to Golden State's four All-Stars, who they'll visit on the first night of the season. We'll find out soon enough just how well all these new combinations work together.
- Mid-summer rankings: West makes power moves to increase conference imbalance
- Hero team of the preseason: Portland (5-1) -- The Blazers' only loss came as a result of garbage time of their first game. Jusuf Nurkic picked up where he left off at the end of last season.
- Zero team of the preseason: New York (0-5) -- The Knicks were the only NBA team that didn't win a game in the preseason, their defense was dreadful, and they trailed their two games against Brooklyn by 18 and 38 points.
- High jumps of the preseason: Orlando (+6), Portland (+4), Cleveland (+2), Memphis (+2)
- Free falls of the preseason: New York (-4), Charlotte (-3), Four teams (-2)
- Team to watch in Week 1: Minnesota --The Wolves start the regular season against the Spurs, Jazz and Thunder, a week that will tell us a lot more about where they stand than their three-game preseason did.
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Pace: Possessions per 48 minutes (League Rank)
OffRtg: Points scored per 100 possessions (League Rank)
DefRtg: Points allowed per 100 possessions (League Rank)
NetRtg: Point differential per 100 possessions (League Rank)
The league averaged 98.7 possessions (per team) per 48 minutes and 106.2 points scored per 100 possessions last season.
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NBA.com's Power Rankings, released every Monday during the season, are just one man's opinion. If you have an issue with the rankings, or have a question or comment for John Schuhmann, send him an e-mail or contact him via Twitter.
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